Lemmon Canyon (Upper East Fork)

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Lemmon Canyon (Upper East Fork) Canyoneering Canyoning Caving
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Lemmon Canyon (Upper East Fork) Banner.jpg

Difficulty:3C III (v3a4 III)
Raps:‌1-2, max ↨30ft
Red Tape:No permit required
Rock type:granite
Condition Reports:
20 May 2023

"We seriously underestimated this canyon and learned the hard way this is not a place to bring a group of beginners without wetsuits who aren't comfter

(log in to submit report)
Best season:
Spring, Autumn


A super fun, non-committing and technically easy route through some beautiful, sculpted granite with tons of huge boulders in the watercourse creating an abundance of rabbit holes, tunnel swims and little hidden chambers and pools. This route drops briefly into Lemmon Canyon but exits before getting to the big rappels which would commit you to the full route (usually done as an overnight). The hike in and out are long but mostly on an excellent trail with little elevation change.


Hike the AZ trail from Marshall Gulch TH to the drop-in.


Suit up on the big slabs soon after leaving the trail. The canyon is full of tiny slides and short drops. Most pools are quite shallow and full of rocks. Be careful when you drop into them about where your feet land. There are some ankle-twisters in there.

Two somewhat tricky downclimbs before the rappel can be navigated with LAPAR techniques. One of the trickier ones has webbing on a pinch at the pour-off that can be used to lower yourself down. Although the one rappel (30' from a pinch down in the chamber above the drop) could be bypassed, the enclosed pour-over into a chamber and then hanging pool are very cool and would be pretty annoying to climb back up into (though possible for good climbers). A couple somewhat challenging downclimbs and you're at the exit drainage.


Stay up on the slickrock as much as possible and you barely have to touch any bushes before you're back up on the trail.

Red tape

Need a Coronado National Forest pass to park at the trailhead (national park pass is accepted)

Beta sites

Trip reports and media



Information provided by automated processes. KML map by (unknown). Main photo by (unknown). Authors are listed in chronological order.

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